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Marvel Comics the Untold Story
Reviewed by
James Wright
on
Marvel Comics the Untold Story Book Review. the Untold Story is all about the behind the scenes and the men who laid the foundation which has helped move this medium to the movies. Without them, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Avengers film would never exist. Fascinating!
Rating:
4.0
MARVEL COMICS THE UNTOLD STORY
Sean Howe
 
 

Review Information

Reviewer: James Wright
Review Date: November 2012

Book Information

Publisher: Harper Collins
RRP: $29.99

8.0

out of 10

 

 

Written by Sean Howe, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story could be dubbed as the secret origin of Marvel Comics and how this comic book company took the world by storm. From industry leader to near bankruptcy in the 90's, this is quite an interesting read from start to finish.  However, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is not just about Marvel as the author goes into some detail about the birth of the comic industry in the United States which started in the 1930's.

In essence, The Untold Story is a historical journey of Marvel Comics that starts before World War II and takes the reader into the modern era of comics. The soul of Marvel Comics is the enigmatic Stan Lee whose passion and foresight into the world of comics sparked a change in the medium which made comics more adult orientated. Apart from Lee, Howe also touches on other comic greats such as Jack Kirby and Martin Goodman who help established this medium in the post-war era.

After the war, the comic industry had its highs and lows, especially with the post-Frederic Werthem period who spearheaded an anti-comic crusade in the United States, believing that this medium corrupted the minds of innocent children. Thankfully society did not grip his beliefs. Conversely a book about Marvel Comics would not be a book about Marvel Comics if it did not touch on some of the characters that made this company. So yes, there are elements of Spider-man and the Fantastic Four but where the books excels is about the men of Marvel.

For me, hearing about comic greats such as Roy Thomas, Jim Starlin and Neal Adams is a joy to read as many of the creators in this book have left their own permanent stamp on the industry which are still being referenced today, 30 to 40 years later. As the book continues, it moves onto the 80 and 90's that was probably the most turbulent time of Marvel. In the 90's, a group of writers and artists left marvel and started their own company, Image Comics which transformed the medium into a slick new vision. This time was almost the demise of Marvel Comics who were facing bankruptcy.

Fortunately this never occurred and after this rough patch for Marvel, Howe moves onto the noughties which once again established Marvel Comics as a true powerhouse in the industry. The great aspect of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is the behind the scenes of the people involved that gives the reader a unique insight into their motivations and how the industry needed change to survive. There is also a dark side to the book about the company treated some of their writers, especially when it came to some of the creators they created.

Final Thoughts?

Even if you're not a fan of Marvel Comics but a fan of the comic industry, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story includes many facets of the comic industry and provides a valuable link to the reader on how this medium helped make characters like Spider-Man and Thor household names. But the Untold Story is all about the behind the scenes and the men who laid the foundation which has helped move this medium to the movies. Without them, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Avengers film would never exist.  Fascinating!






 
 



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